Shropshire set sights on Twenty20 double against Herefordshire to keep alive qualification hopes

Skipper Ross Aucott believes Shropshire need to win both matches against Herefordshire at Wrekin College on Sunday to keep alive their qualification hopes in the Unicorns Twenty20 competition.

Shropshire impressed in their opening T20 fixtures of the campaign, beating Berkshire at Whitchurch, before narrowly losing the second game at Heath Road.
But the county’s qualification hopes were then dealt a blow when they were beaten twice at Oxfordshire the following day.

Only the group winners will progress to Finals Day at Wormsley later in the season, with Shropshire now targeting positive results against Herefordshire and also Buckinghamshire, their hosts for the two final group matches at Gerrards Cross on June 16.

Aucott, Shropshire’s T20 captain, said: “After losing both games at Oxfordshire, we need to win every single game we’ve got left now and may also need other results to go our way as well – but there’s no reason why we can’t win our remaining four games.

“We had two great games against Berkshire and performed really well. Berkshire won pretty much everything last year, so to beat them in the first game and then almost do the same in the second was really promising.

“Perhaps our batting wasn’t as good as we would want it to be in the Oxfordshire games, but we showed a lot of fight.

“There’s a lot of potential in the side and hopefully we can do well on Sunday.”

This weekend’s double header with Herefordshire means a return to familiar surroundings for Aucott, a former sixth former at Wrekin College.

“I really enjoyed playing there and had a good couple of years,” he said. “It’s a great place to play and has only got better and better.

“There’s a few people I know there, including a few teachers from my time, and it’s always nice to see them.”

As for the challenge awaiting Shropshire, Aucott added: “Herefordshire are always strong, just as most sides are. They’ll be a good side and we will need to be at top form to beat them.”

Shropshire will hand Unicorns Twenty20 debuts to young Quatt all-rounder Ryan Wheldon and Oswestry seamer Ben Roberts.

Wheldon was part of Shropshire’s Emerging Player Programme over the winter.

Roberts, who played against Shropshire for Wales Minor Counties last year, took four wickets for the county as they beat the RAF’s cricketers by four runs in a friendly at Bridgnorth on Thursday evening.

The first of Sunday’s matches starts at 11am, with a second game to follow in the afternoon. Admission is free for spectators.

Shropshire team: Ross Aucott, Alex Phillips, Alexei Kervezee, Jack Edwards, Joe Carrasco, Simon Gregory, Ryan Lockley, Sam Ellis, Ryan Wheldon, Sam Whitney, Ben Roberts.

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